Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Ronald Mason | Diaspora has role in US election

Published:Sunday | May 22, 2016 | 5:00 AM

The presidential primary elections to select the nominees for the Republicans (GOP) and Democrats are almost at an end. The results so far have made New York real estate mogul, Donald J. Trump, the presumptive nominee of the GOP. The contest for the Democratic nominee is still not finalised, but Hillary Clinton's a virtual shoo-in because of her huge vote advantage.

Donald Trump is an extremist who has successfully tapped into the frustration and fears of the white male citizen of the United States of America. He rails against America's immigration policy and the 11 million undocumented aliens currently in the USA.

For one to understand the potency and allure of his positions, one must take into consideration that it is projected that the population of the USA will be less than 50 per cent white by the year 2050. Currently, the Hispanic population is the largest minority group, having surpassed the African-American bloc.

Being white in the USA comes with privileges that will be lost after 2050. This, along with the loss of blue-collar jobs, makes them very fearful, and Mr Trump plays on this. "Make America great again" means keeping jobs for white people in America and ensuring that America's allies pay for their association with America. Build a wall along the southern border to keep the 'barbarians' out of the homeland. He leaves the message that America was great when everyone had to defer to the white male. He also does not leave any room for the white female. She must remain perpetually subservient; therefore, Hillary Clinton should not play the woman card.

To enforce this position, he is going to increase US military personnel up to two million persons from the current 1.3 million, and rebuild the Navy to 500 vessels from the current 250. He will make countries like Saudi Arabia and Cuba send their heads of state to the airport to meet him as he disembarks Air Force One, should he ever condescend to visit a foreign country. He will make the Mexicans pay for the wall he will build to his specifications. This is the person who could become the president-elect and, mockingly, leader-in-waiting of the free world on November 8, 2016.

 

MOST QUALIFIED

 

Hillary Clinton claims to be the most qualified because she was married to Bill Clinton, as well as from her stints as senator and secretary of state. She played a prominent role in the removal of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and was so overjoyed that she was unavailable to make a meaningful intervention in the events which led to the death of the American ambassador and three others in Benghazi during her tenure.

This is what faces the American people in the upcoming election. Vote for Hillary Clinton because she would become the first female president and believes herself qualified to be commander-in-chief, or vote for Donald Trump as he peddles hatred and bigotry and instills fear around the world.

Jamaica has been referred to as being part of America's third border. We have a large number of Jamaicans living there. Things and circumstances will conspire to make their lives much more difficult should the Republicans win. As such, we must be prepared for a significant increase of returnees in the short term. We must also expect restrictive and punitive immigration rules and regulations.

 

MORE CHALLENGES

 

We must be prepared for more challenges to our financial institutions with remittances and corresponding bank provisions. It would not surprise if the burden of the war on drugs would be transferred to countries like Jamaica. We may be asked to pay for US Coast Guard services. We may become dumping ground for the farm commodities produced by the white male population in the Midwest. As it stands, they are forcing Haiti to buy American-grown peanuts, much to Haiti's detriment - and Donald Trump is not yet president.

If ever there was a need for the Jamaican diaspora to be mobilised to vote, where they are eligible, this would be the election.

It must be remembered that those who have participated in the process that has led to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton being the presumptive nominees have been primarily Democrats and Republicans. The independent voter can impact the outcome of the presidential election on November 8, 2016.

This is particularly pronounced when we acknowledge that it is not the popular vote total that determines the winner, but, rather, the members of the Electoral College on a state-by-state basis. The average American should be more repulsed by the positions taken by the Republicans than the presumed entitlement of the Democrats. The Republicans cannot win the Hispanic or Afro-American vote. Nor do I believe they can win the white female vote. Let us keenly observe as the campaign continues and anticipate that good sense will consign Donald Trump to the also-rans of history.

- Ronald Mason is an immigration attorney and Supreme Court mediator. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and nationsagenda@gmail.com.